The Students’ Association Teaching Awards 2021

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Staff play a pivotal role in the student experience at Edinburgh, from lecturers and tutors to supervisors, Personal Tutors and professional services staff.

The Students’ Association annual Teaching Awards provide students with an opportunity to thank staff for their hard work and celebrate the very best of teaching and support at the University, something that’s more important than ever this year.

More than 1,300 staff received more than 2,800 nominations, all of which were reviewed by a student shortlisting panel. The Awards were announced on the Students’ Association’s Facebook page.

The 2021 winners have now been announced and can be viewed below. Congratulations to everyone involved.

View the welcome video.

Outstanding Commitment to Social Justice and Sustainability

Glen Cousquer, Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies 

“He strives to create an inclusive and welcoming space for all students. He encourages his students to look outside the box and try to confront their own blindspots… Through his encouragement of reflexive practice, we are able to see ourselves and our place in the world more clearly, as not apart from but a part of the natural world… Living these principles in an embodied way is essential for a sustainable future.”

View Glen’s speech.

Outstanding Course

Race and Ethnicity – Katucha Bento, Nasar Meer and Shaira Vadasaria, School of Social & Political Science 

“It has provided me with invaluable knowledge and the combination of lectures, readings and seminars has pushed me to think more critically and in a different way than to how I did at the start of this semester… What’s more, the knowledge gained has proved extremely useful outside of academic contexts and in my life more generally – I have been able to have informed discussions about contemporary issues to do with race, racism and understanding the legacy of colonialism with family members, friends and colleagues.”

View Katucha and Shaira’s speech.

Outstanding Innovation in Digital Teaching

Brian Rabern, School of Philosophy, Psychology & Language Sciences 

“Dr Rabern creates lectures that are genuinely entertaining, meaning we the students are able to better maintain focus on the educational content we’re supposed to be absorbing. Their engaging nature ultimately makes them more informative… Dr Rabern has taken the current circumstances in stride and created a class that doesn’t suffer from the online format, but takes advantage of it and really delivers a quality curriculum.”

View Brian’s speech.

Personal Tutor of the Year

Judy Hardy, School of Physics & Astronomy 

“Extremely generous with her time, she always made her students feel valued. She is the epitome of what a good personal tutor should be; kind, caring and committed to helping her students. These qualities make a great difference to the student experience, especially when those students are facing adversity.”

View Judy’s speech.

Student Tutor of the Year

Sam Nwokoro, School of Divinity 

“From the first session Sam created an extremely open, non-judgemental atmosphere where I feel like everyone felt comfortable speaking and voicing their opinions… Thanks to Sam and his in depth tutorials, I always came out with a better understanding of the text for that week, really helping me further my confidence in the course.”

View Sam’s speech.

Supervisor of the Year

Neill Martin, School of Literatures, Languages & Cultures 

“Neill has continuously put my research and goals into the wider perspective, pushing me to better myself as a member of the University and research community… I am incredibly grateful for everything that Neill has done for me and the encouragement he provides to the wider community at Edinburgh. This has been an unusual year, full of new worries, stresses or change but Neill has done so much to make this year enjoyable and fun. In that sense he leads by example. The department I study in would not be the same without him.”

View Neill’s speech.

Support Staff of the Year

Jean-Christophe Denis, School of Physics & Astronomy 

“JC has been the leader of the Physics Outreach Team since he started it three years ago… JC is always encouraging us to give things our best try and most importantly to trust ourselves… I really appreciate that he has kept in close contact with us throughout the year, offering to provide support to anyone who needed it… he also provided me with a huge amount of support during the whole crisis, by pointing me to where I could seek help and also by just being an amazing listener. His support from the start and especially throughout this very challenging year has been invaluable to me and thanks to this I feel like I have grown a lot both as a science communicator and personally.”

View Jean-Christophe’s speech.

Teacher of the Year (College of Arts, Humanities & Social Sciences)

Elizabeth Bomberg, School of Social & Political Science 

“She is kind, approachable and wonderfully enthusiastic… Elizabeth goes above and beyond each week to maximise our learning and understanding, whether it be through her lectures, our lively live seminar discussions, providing clear and personalised feedback on our reading reflections, or through the myriad of extra events, podcasts, readings and resources that she signposts to us. I find Elizabeth’s teaching style to be clear, thorough and interesting…”

View Elizabeth’s speech.

Teacher of the Year (College of Medicine & Veterinary Medicine)

Crispin Jordan, Edinburgh Medical School: Biomedical Sciences 

“The amount of work and effort he put into our course this year is obvious… The videos he made were engaging and easy to follow… He was very approachable and so willing to help students… was so kind and fun – introducing us to his pets and children and even set up a talent show for our class so we could meet each other – something he was very aware we hadn’t had the chance to do. I really think he was an excellent teacher this year for so many reasons and I think the effort he put in is unparalleled to anything I have ever seen before.”

View Crispin’s speech.

Teacher of the Year (College of Science & Engineering)

Rose Zamoyska, School of Biological Sciences 

“It’s been an absolute delight to engage with her lectures – they are always so eloquent, concise and logically structured… She also did a fabulous job in structuring discussion sessions, taking into account feedback from students… All of her discussion sessions fostered a wholesome, welcoming leaning environment, she’d always help you find your way through challenging concepts… Rose has made such a positive difference in ways she’s probably still unaware of.”

View Rose’s speech.

The goal with the Teaching Awards is to celebrate the very best of teaching and support at the University, but it is also important to us that the Awards reflect the diversity of community, and provide a space where staff who may not have access to more formal recognition can be rewarded for their work. If you have questions regarding this year’s Awards, please contact